I’ve been quiet for some time, not posting teasers or info about this book, and I know readers are dying for a release date, but I don’t have one yet. And the book is far from done.
Then why is it taking so long?
I’m not one of those authors that can put out a book every month, which is scary in my opinion, because writing something good is a helluva lot of work, time, sweat, tears and more work.
That’s not taking into account research, beta reading and editing.
My writing style is not easy, and when I say I tend to put my betas through hell – I really do.
But all that stuff fits into a normal writing day and they have been rather rare. Some days I sit in front of the screen, from the early hours of the morning, just staring, till late into the afternoon, repeatedly asking myself: What the hell do you think you are doing?
Somedays I want to give up, not just the manuscript but writing as a whole, because some days feel like torture.
But other days, those rare days, I feel like a freaking god and try to make the most of them.
So I ask you to be patient with this one, and yeah, you’re not gonna like me most of a lot when you get to the ending, but this is no Disneyland… Sometimes Love takes her sweet old time to get things right. And sometimes she will devastate you. Because Love isn’t always a sweet old bitch.
Snippet from Of Gods and Monsters: Komainu.
The Chicago night air came crisp against his damp skin. The streets riddled with unnecessary people, some out hunting for a good time, others lured by the pleasures of the night.
A cold shudder raced down his spine and made him still. He looked up to his right, swallowing hard. Hades leaned against the wall, glaring straight at him. With his arms folded over his chest, large muscles militant, the red neon signs to his right cast the man in a breath of Hell. So fitting for the kaijū. Yet the silent scowl on the hell beast’s face, while that anarchic eye kept its stygian focuse on him was what made Kemono’s skin pull in gooseflesh.
“There’s just one person left that I can ask…” Kemono didn’t favor the unsteady pause in Hades’ speech. “If he’s got nothing, I’ve depleted all my resources.”
So this was it, the reason this preternatural stillness cling to Hades like oil for the last several weeks. The bloodthirsty hell-dog he could handle, the angry barbarian biker too, but not the calm…and the strange part was; Kemono was far more accustomed to silent emotion. But with Hades, the calm brought with it a storm far more cataclysmic.
Several months back, Kemono wouldn’t have considered accepted those words Hades had just spoken, but now even his faith at finding his Shuiro had reached its own death. Were they chasing a ghost, one whose body would never be found…? His soul shivered at the thought, heart clenched angrily in pain. But it might be a silent truth they both needed to listen to. He blinked as his eyes burned and blurred. A warm hand touched his neck, the fingers rough as they were unkind.
The voice even more so. “You don’t get to bury him yet,” those digits squeezed at Kemono’s tight neck muscles, “not until we have found at least some proof.” The hand let off. “I need to set up a meeting through one of this guy’s connections. I would never approach him otherwise, would hardly want to touch him with a stick. It’s the reason I was putting off contacting him, for last.”
“Why?” Kemono’s voice shook, his recent though still scraping its blunt claws in his throat.
Hades stepped beside Kemono and started walking. “It goes back to Old Devil Eyes’ younger years. Old Man Dingo was his best friend and biological brother, the fuckers went and fell in love with the same woman. Dingo wasen’t motherfuckin’ happy the mother of his son gave birth to his nephew.”
Kemono grunted and looked away, only to froze and flare his nostrils. He narrowed his eyes as man climbed out of dark-silver Maserati Levante. His fingers creaked as he curled them into first, watching the Doyen of the White Hand steep up to another club not far from them on the opposite side of the road.
Kemono had not spoken to the Doyen since his last job for the White Hand, that job that resulted in the deaths of both Yasushi and Tsuyoshi, and the end of Kemono’s execution rights for the Doyen.
His lips twitched in a sneer as he read the club’s name flashing in bright white neon; Diablo.
This club seemed different than the one they had came from; for one there was a line outside. Patrons in literally every color and some Kemono didn’t even have names for, some were dressed as women, others plain—showing as much muscled chest and flesh as they could with a tank top that could just as well be called a cleaning rag. Not auspicious men covered from toe to neck in suspicious looking casual wear with the stupid give way of a ball cap pulled low to hide their faces.
“One more club,” Kemone all but snarled to Hades and advanced towards Diablo. He grimaced at the thought that they would have to stand in line when another car pulled up, its parking space kept open by orange road cones which a barely looking black bouncer quickly picked up. However, Kemono knew this car and its owner far better than he did the Doyen.
And of course Aven Sciocatti would draw attention upon himself; he was after all sex, tattoos and hazard. With his dark-strawberry blond hair wildly hanging off to one side, thick beard covering his jaw to his neck and the multitude of ink blooming from his throat down his body to his very fingers that held an abundance of skull rings. He was the epitome of a bad boy rock star, all lissome muscles and toned frame; along with the black, leather dress shirt leaving far too many buttons open exposing inked skin, while his leather pants made air suffocate as hide sucked to the muscles of his legs.
But a rock star bad boy he was not; the man had a heart as hard as death and a head far more psychotic than the Joker. Throw in his love of a blood fetish and you had one twisted crime lord that dominated the Chicago’s dark underbelly, yet small in comparison what the Dragon’d had. To Aven it was never about power, yes he was a small koi in a big pond swimming amongst ikuchi, but the bastard had venom far more deadly than his competitors. As Hades had acquaintances so too did Kemono.
“Come, kaijū, one more club and you can ride my ass tonight.”
Hades only released a deep grunt, his boots crunching behind Kemono as they crossed the street. “I ain’t standing in no motherfuckin’ line,” Hades growled.
“You won’t need to.” Kemono marched along the line and grabbing Aven’s wrist before the man could slip past the bouncer at the club’s doors.
Aven turned, his golden eyes like a dark sun, so different than Kemono’s Shuiro, flashed in a cruel light. His pale lips slowly parted only giving a small hint of a smile.
“You got some death wish,” Avon said, his voice as smooth as summer rain. His eyes narrowed, gaze darting past Kemono to the ominous shadow blocking out the light.
“Jesus,” Aven blow out in a whistle and took a several steps back while his face went a sad shade of white that far outmatched a geisha, “you tailing this thing with you?”
Kemono more felt the deep growl behind him, than heard it.
Aven’s gaze widened, those eyes not seeming so cold as before, but more cautious…yet, “You fucking it?”
“Hush your mouth, pretty boy,” Kemono growled, knowing Hades needed no introduction.
Aven blew bubbles for a second before his lips began to move faster than sound. “I got no business with you, I keep my piece, a small maggot like me can’t afford a war with big players like you, you know that, Kemono. So excuse me if I piss myself and freak the fuck out seeing the King of the Dead and the King of Demons stepping up to my club.”
Kemono sneared, gone was Aven’s fuck it all bad ass attitude now replaced with fear. “Your club?” Kemono arched a scarred brown.
“Soon to be, I’m guessing you two are either fucking each other or are here to pick up ass. I’m leaning more to the fucking each other, no surprise there that the two most fearsome devils of Hell would be balls deep in each other asses. No offence.” Aven grinned, a true honest smirk yet it was fairly weak in its attempts.
“Can I kill him now, or do I get to do it after checking this glitter hole out?”
Kemono snorted, then turned his attention back on Aven. “We’re looking for someone, it’s nothing to bother your pretty head about. We’ll be in, have a look then leave if we don’t find who we’re looking for.”
“A-And if you do find who you’re looking for?” Aven choked then swallowed. Kemono didn’t need to see the man’s throat move under the beard, the pearl of sweat forming on Aven’s forehead said enough.
“Then… ” Hades grunted. “I guess, you’ll see what your innards look like, boy. After you pissed them out along with the bleach I’ll be making you swallow.”
“Maybe tell me who you’re looking for and I can help you out?” The young man was playing nice, trying a desperate attempt not to piss either of them off. Regarding Hades, it didn’t matter, the hell beast was always pissed.
“Red hair, pale skin—”
Aven closed his eyes and held out his hand for Kemono to stop, ‘fuck’ worded on silent lips before he stared at Kemono again. “There just one red haired boy here.” The fear radiating in Aven’s voice was going to swallow the man whole. “Jesus. Fuck. Cazzo. Cazzo. Cazzo.”
A loud popping came from behind Kemono, that telltale sound of first Hades’ knuckles being overworked followed by the creak as the hell beast worked his neck left and right. Kemono’s gaze darted to the twitchy looking bouncers not far from them. “Cool it,” he snapped over his shoulder.
Hades needed to real his anger in, and despite Kemono being here, still trying to keep a level head, if the kaijū lost his shit as he so often referred to it, Kemono wasn’t sure he would stop Hades from tearing the club to pieces. Because the prospect of the ‘red headed boy’ being Rex was burning Kemono’s inside in his desire to do exactly that.
“But the kids not with me, he’s with Julius.”
Kemono’s attention snapped up, his fingers quivering in pain as they curled.
“Julius?” Hades asked in rough, unsteady voice.
“Yeah, Lenzini. Thought you would know about him, he plays in your bigger monarchy. He sold me the club on one condition, two actually, the red haired kid and the Syrian goes with him, the rest of the dancers, drag queens and staff stay on.”
Kemono felt Hades body vibrate as the man pressed up against his back.
“Jap, you gotta work your fuckin’ magic, I’m about to fuckin’ lose my shit.”
“Jesus, I don’t know what this kid did to mess with you fuckers, but he sure is a stupid—”
Kemono snarled, clasping Aven by the throat and threw him back against the wall. “It would be in your out most best interest not to finish that sentence.” With his fingers clawing into the flesh of the man’s neck, Kemono leaned up into Aven’s face, gritting through his teeth. “We go in, if it’s who we’re looking for the boy leaves with us. No queueing. No bull shit or you and Julius both will be eating the dirt of your own graves six feet under.”
Kemono turned, marched to the entrance and was stopped by a bouncer moving in front of him. Black, thick muscled arms crossed over the man’s chest, Kemono might not be as tall as Hades, only standing at six foot two but he sure as hell was going to rip this man’s heart from his chest.
“Aven!” Kemono barked.
“Let them in, Jonathan,” Aven said, his voice shaky.
The bouncer stepped aside, a weary glance briefly thrown at Kemono, but the man quickly lost his bravery as Hades growled at him and stepped in after Kemono.
Kemono heart was racing so fast that he had to stop just for a second and squeezed his eyes.
If this was Rex… If it was their boy, what then…what the fuck happened then…?
Fingers grabbed the back of his neck kneading hard. “Breath, motherfucker.” Hades grunted in dark voice next to Kemono’s ear. “Worry about the rest later, right now if it’s that beautiful little lion of ours, we’re taking him the fuck home.”
Home? Wherever was that? Kemono’s home was with Rex. Nowhere else. And this wasn’t just a simple matter of dealing with it later anymore. It got complicated along time ago…because Kemono had began to care…. He had started to care about another human being apart from Rex… And the frightening part was, he wasn’t sure he could stop caring about Hades.